Business of Delo Group of Sergey Shishkarev has been concentrated in Novorossiysk for many years. They own a container and grain terminal in the Port of Novorossiysk. Last year the Group reached a Federal level by buying a stake of Global Ports, which is the largest container port operator in Russia with assets in Northwestern and Far Eastern basins, for $250 mln. According to Shishkarev, the main job now is to bring the new asset to the same efficiency as the business in Novorossiysk.
Shishkarev’s appetite for new projects has not run out: he feels challenged to fight for the controlling interest in “Transcontainer” put up for auction by RZD. In addition, he invests almost $200 million into his terminals in Novorossiysk and plans to develop railway transportations.
To a new level with Global Ports
- Delo Group closed the deal on purchase of the stake in Global Ports a year ago. What has changed for you personally because of that deal? Are you feeling like being in another league?
- Obviously, for us it is going up to a new, federal level. Now “Delo” is present in three basins - Baltics, the Black Sea, and Far East. We are the only company with entering points in all the corners of this “golden” triangle, as we call it. More than 30% of container throughput in our country belong to our terminals.
My personal time has been redirected. There is no need to guard “DeloPorts”: there is a well-established team with proved effectiveness. Instead, Global Ports terminals still require a lot of attention. I spend two thirds of my time on Global Ports.
Recently Global Ports and Dutch Royal Vopak sold their container terminal VEOS in Estonia. Why?
- In the present reality, in current political and economic processes, development of this asset is futile. We got a fair price and the buyer is acceptable for us. It is better than to see stagnation of this asset. Moreover, country leaders set a task to reduce the transit of Russian goods through the Baltics and to direct the flows to the Russian ports. Otherwise we would hinder ourselves. It is not quite right.
- Global Ports has two more terminals in Finland. Will you sell them, too? Especially since they achieved only 107 000 TEU in 2018, which is 7% of company turnover.
- There is no question of selling them. The market is growing, and it is a steady average marginal business. I would like these assets to prove their efficiency.
- What are you changing in the work of Global Ports?
- What we change the building-up of business-processes, look for standardization of works and increase in service level at the terminals. We would like to work out some standard operating procedures and common high standards of services for customers of Global Ports, because they are our main value. DeloPorts terminals in Novorossiysk are our terminal of choice because of fast unloading of containers, modern IT-system and additional services. Its share in transshipment in the Black sea basin is growing steadily, even though its service cost is higher than average in the market. Global Ports operation should be built up accordingly. It includes further strengthening of Global Ports management, which has been already supported by appointment of a new CEO taken from the Delo Group – Vladimir Bychkov.
We try to improve the work of the Board of Directors. We would like to get a quality and productive discussion. In addition, we are establishing a Strategy Committee in the Board. The main thing Management and the Board of Directors is working on now is the implementation of development strategy which has changed fundamentally with our arrival.
We have some new investment projects, which would allow filling the temporarily underutilized terminal facilities and at the moment increasing our profitability and EBITDA. We started coal handling in Ust-Luga terminal in small volumes - 1-1,5 million tons. However, Ust-Luga has a very good potential.
- Why the strategy of development is changing and what is the new one like?
- It is still improving. It is the question of different goal setting and priorities. The colleagues who I have known for 25 years already and who are good friends of mine (Nikita Mishin, Konstantin Nikolaev and Andrey Filatov, owners of N-Trans group, from which Delo Group bought the stake of Global Ports. – Vedomosti), successfully achieved the goals they had set for themselves. They brought the asset to market, achieved a certain EBITDA and good capitalization and successfully placed shares on London stock exchange.
We are engaged with the asset operationally. So, our approach to work is a bit different, largely due to those skills which were acquired by the management of the holding through long years of work in Novorossiysk.
- Do you plan to increase container facilities of Global Ports?
- Not in any nearest future. Surplus of Global Ports terminals made from 40 to 80% in 2018. Therefore, we plan to increase the indexes by tuning our business processes, as I have mentioned above. For example, the container terminal in Novorossiysk is utilized by 83%, as for comparison.
- What was the resource for purchase of the stock in Global Ports? At that moment, its market price made around €250 million.
- The stock of shares was bought for the market price with a small market bonus. We had planned this bonus in advance, that is why we managed to win from other candidates. The money for the purchase was loaned. “DeloPorts” attracted it at the expense of issue of corporate exchange bonds and a loan from Sovcombank.
Global Ports Investments PLC
Shareholders (Data of the Company for March, 2019): Delo Group of Sergey Shishkarev (30.75%), Moller-Maersk A/S (30.75%), previous owners of National Container Company llibrintio Establishment and Polozio Enterprises (9% each). The rest is in free circulation.
Capitalization (LSE) is $458.5 mln.
Financial metrics (IFRS, 2018):
Revenues - $343.6 mln.,
Net loss - $58,3 mln.,
Operating performance (2018):
Container transshipment - 1.35 mln TEU.
- Are there any other assets you are interested in? And if there are, do you have enough resources to purchase them?
- Delo Group has kept a comfortable loan load as evidenced by positive dynamics of ratings of DeloPorts. We have stated our intention to take part in a competition or auction for majority stake of “Transcontainer” (which belongs to Russian railways – “Vedomosti”), and we confirm our interest. We will fight for this asset as we see great prospects in arrangement of multimodal transportation using our terminals in three basins.
- The marker price of majority stake of “Transcontainer” is about RUB 38 bln. or EUR 500 mln. In addition, it may increase at auction.
- We are considering an option to go to the auction in a consortium with a bank or fund. We can’t manage such purchase just on our own.
- There are many applicants for “Transcontainer”.
- We will in any case develop rail transportation of containers and warehouse service in Ruscon (100% belongs to Delo Group. – “Vedomosti”), and also the competence of multimodal operator, especially since there are few friendly companies in the North-West and Far East.
There is now a huge gap as Transcontainer with its 27 000 platforms controls nearly 60% of the fleet, all the rest major market players own 4000 - 5000 platforms and less.
If we are not champions, not co-owners of Transcontainer, we will create a prizewinner company that will be among the top five. Now Ruscon possesses 650 platforms and 500 more are leased. The goal is to increase the total number of platforms to 5000. Ruscon has a network of container terminals in Novorossiysk and Central Region of Russia. The strategy of its development aims at expanding the company’s presence in regions of export origin and places of processing of import cargo flows, including Western and Eastern Siberia, and at creation of a well-developed transportation network, which would connect import, export and inner cargo flows for reduction and elimination of empty runs. This approach minimizes losses that all participants in the logistic chain have to bear and makes the service more competitive and affordable in comparison with, for instance, auto transportation.
One of the most important investment areas of Ruscon is the development of digital information services, data processing tools and company management procedures. It is not a tribute to fashion for us but a critical factor ensuring competitiveness.
Containerization of the country
- Unlike Global Ports, your container terminal in Novorossiysk is expanding. With the launch of the berth No. 38 its capacity will grow from 400 000 to 700 000 TEU. How fast can you load the berth?
- The berth itself as a construction is already built; it remains only to install the equipment. Just on April 18 a carrier ship arrived from Shanghai on the roadstead of the port of Novorossiysk and delivered nine port cranes for the berth. Among them, there are three cranes of the largest class, STS that a Chinese company ZPMC manufactured especially for our berth. Total amount of the contract with ZPMC exceeded $25 mln, and the total project of the berth No. 38 will cost over $120 mln.
This is a unique project, the first berth in Russia which will be able to handle container ships with a capacity of 10 000 containers. These are ocean-going vessels and they will arrive directly to us without reloading to feeder vessels in Greece, Italy or Turkey. In 2015 during a meeting headed by Vladimir Putin, I promised to build such berth within three years. Project development took one year. Construction started from 2016.
We set a task to load the terminal in three, at most four years. However, this growth has not been calculated fully so far. Containerization of the country is not growing by 20% per year, and the population will not suddenly start consuming much more goods. Certainly, we can handle larger vessels. Probably, we can provide for utilization due to redistribution of cargo flows from North-West basin, where cargo comes with reloading in Europe – in Hamburg, Bremen, or Antwerp.
- How much cheaper for the shipper will it be to use the ship with ten thousand containers capacity?
- Berth No. 38 will allow avoiding unloading from the ocean vessels somewhere in Turkey and loading of containers on feeder vessels, so consignors will be able to avoid two additional operations, which saves $300-400 per each TEU. It is a serious economy. Still we have to understand that a big part of container cargo comes directly from Europe or Israel in smaller vessels, so they will not save anything with ocean service. But we have another important advantage: we unload vessels faster than our competitors by 25%. Our tugs work day and night. Turnover of the fleet is very important.
- According to information of Global Ports, Russia is far behind on containerization. We have 35 TEU of goods per person per year, and average amount is 104 TEU in the world, 133 TEU in Europe and 138 TEU in the USA. Why is that bad?
- It means that we are technologically slow in logistics. A box has not been created out of nothing. Container is a very convenient thing; it is an ultimate packing for a fast and safe transportation of cargo, for fast loading and unloading. Moreover, transportation of any type of cargo in containers is much safer for the environment than bulk transportations. Containers keep developing all the time: now we have tank-containers (they have aт inbuilt cistern for transportation of liquids), there flap-covered containers for grain transportations. The bulk, of course, has always been cheaper, but only if the transportation from port to port is required. If we calculate all logistics cost and if there is auto or rail transportation in chain, if we take into consideration ecology and cargo safety, then containers are much more effective.
Lagging behind Europe arose for objective reasons. Russia is a raw-material country whereas Europe is mostly busy with export and import of finished products, and containers are more convenient for it. However, now people are used to shipping even fertilizers and timber in containers. We were the first to bring a container in Port of Novorossiysk in 1996 or 1997.
“Delo” in the South
Grain terminal “DeloPorts” in Novorossiysk is the only one out of three major deep-water grain terminals, which is privately owned. NKHP is controlled by state United Grain Company and VTB. Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port is controlled by state “Transneft”. It would be logical if NCSP sold NZT to you and not to VTB Bank. Did they offer it to you?
- Neither did they offer, nor did we. I assume that the issue was resolved in very high offices and I was not awaited to the negotiations.
- Would you have been interested?
- Certainly, we would. The agreement held in privacy setting. However, if there had been a public competition, we would definitely take part in it as we consider, that we manage this area the best.
- And who did VTB buy Novorossiysk Grain Terminal for? For itself or for the benefit of someone not yet named?
- As far as I know, VTB will control it itself. They involved people not from space and they understand what grain export is. Novorossiysk grain terminal is still an attractive asset and VTB will be able to do it even more effective and more interesting for investors, I am sure.
- President of Transneft Nikolay Tokarev not long before the purchase of Novorossiysk Grain Terminal had announced that there had been an idea to create some united grain operator in the South. Hardly anyone could have understood what he had meant. Do you know what he had spoken about?
- I am not familiar with this idea. Anyway, it does not seem realistic to me overall. Then a state monopoly needs to be established on grain export. Such a statement is very unlikely to be agreed by the Federal Antimonopoly Service as well as grain exporters who benefit from competitiveness in this area.
- The field is interested not in the export control but in absence of unscrupulous exporters who worsen the reputation of Russia in the world market. There are two hundred of grain exporters in Russia and I did not believe it when I heard. Where are they? Who are these people? Such an exporter sold or bought something once, reimbursed VAT with violations and after that Tax Inspection inspects everyone and refuses to refund. Or they may import something infected in Bangladesh and then the whole of Russia is not allowed to supply anything to Bangladesh.
- Are you planning to expand your grain terminal?
- After the launch of berth No. 38 in June we want to take part in the investment program related to extension of berth No. 40а by 200 m and dredging. Investments will make around $60 million. We will be able to receive at the same time two bulk carriers Panamax and even two PostPanamax with the capacity up to 80 000 tons. Neighboring grain terminals don’t have such abilities.
- In 2018 we handled 4,8 million tons while the project capacity of our grain terminal makes 3,5 million tons p.a. After extension of the berth its project capacity will reach 5 million; if everything goes well including weather and successful harvest, we will be able to handle 8-9 million tons starting from 2021.
- It means, that your terminal will be major grain terminal in the country.
- If the other terminals do not develop then yes. However, same Novorossiysk Grain Terminal is doing to develop.
The owner (Data of the company for December 31, 2018) is Sergey Shishkarev (100%).
RUB 11.9 bln. of revenues,
RUB 6,1 bln. of net profit,
- Cargo transshipment is 8.7 mln tons including grain transshipment 4,8 mln tons and container transshipment 333 000 TEU.
- The development of deep-water port Taman is being discussed for more than 10 years in various configurations. Future capacity is named as millions of tons of different cargo and hundreds of billions of rubles of state and private investment. Is that project necessary at all?
I saw many different plans for Taman including grain, fertilizers, coal, containers, and oil products. The answer is simple – first we need to understand the cargo base.
Four years ago I was speaking at a meeting in Novorossiysk headed by Mr. Putin. We had a big discussion on Taman, and I suggested using a simple formula - take or pay. First cargo owners have to come and engage into a long-time shipment of a certain amount of cargo.
When we talk about a container terminal for million TEU or grain terminal for 20 million tons, I have question. For which type of cargo do we plan it? Even in last record year with 40 million tons of export almost all the grain was shipped. Do we know exporters, who have some grain left due to the lack of facilities? Now, our demand and supply are balanced.
And how can we return investments in this terminal without cargo? Moreover, if we compete on price, then the investments will also not be returned, but the amount of taxable base will decrease due to reduced profitability. And these are only private interests when a private person takes a risk of their investments and want to do exercises in grains and containers, why not? And who can ensure the effectiveness of investments to the State? When it is asked to build the infrastructure for RUB 100-200 bln.? Build roads, make communication tools, railways, cars, electricity same as wave fencing and dredging. It is (Taman port. – Vedomosti) quite shallow now. So, a huge amount of money and resource will be needed for dredging.
The same is about containers. There is a unique berth constructed in Novorossiysk from the point of depths and equipment and we provide a quick a high-quality handling. However, even we do not have clear idea about how the market will grow, and which cargo will fill our modern and technological terminal.
- There was some information earlier about a conflict between DeloPorts shareholders. Three or four years ago, you redeemed 10% of company shares from your nephew Timofey Telyatnik. You had some mutual claims and you filed lawsuits against each other on dozens of millions of Euro. How did the story end?
- The conflict is resolved. The process ended up in July 2018 with signing an agreement on settlement of the dispute and waiver of mutual claims.
So, as you see out of the conversation, principles of teamwork are paramount the same as trust to each other. When any problems between the team members arise (family relationship is out of our attention in this case), misunderstanding or breach of trust, I try to solve it as soon as possible, and usually I am personally involved in the process. In this case, the situation of misunderstanding dragged on and turned into a conflict that resulted in legal litigation and was posted on pages of several media. I repeat, that the conflict is over.
Apart of business
- In three callings in a row you were a deputy of the State Duma in Krasnodar region. However, in election of 2012 you could not enter the State Duma in the lists of United Russia party. Why?
- I decided to return to business, and it was an objective necessity. Now you can see the results of my comeback.
- Is there any political ambition left?
- Senior comrades and classic of the genre taught me never to say never. It is the first point. The other truth is if the motherland says, “you have to”, a komsomol can’t refuse. Anyway, now I am really involved in everything I do in business and what I am able to do. I can’t even imagine how to combine it with my work in parliament.
My political past allows me to live calmly. I have nothing to be ashamed of. My public reception army second convening was recognized as the best in the South Federal District. I engaged a whole staff of assistants and lawyers on my own money, I helped a lot of people, some of them with surgeries and cure. In my opinion, the third convening was the most effective, when I was a chairperson of committee on transport. I have done many good for the field, especially for proper evaluation of spending of budget funds. I stopped everything I considered wrong and helped everything I considered prospective.
- In 2015 you became the President of Handball Federation of Russia, despite the fact that earlier you supported football and maintained football club “Chernomorets” of Novorossiysk, then there were children football schools. Why suddenly did you choose handball?
- I was offered by president assistant Igor Evgenievich Levitin, an old friend of mine, who is also responsible for sport. The chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Dmitry Rogozin, who is the master of sports in handball and also an old friend of mine, persuaded me, too. Rogozin was persuading actively as he was very worried about this kind of sport.
- You were asked to head the federation meaning that you will support it financially. How much have you already spent on handball?
- The first two years the federation was funded only by me. Anyway, combined teams are funded by the Ministry of Sport with our support, of course. Now there are sponsors appeared and the share of Delo Group in federation budget reduces. For the present moment personally, I invested in handball nearly $20 mln.
At the beginning I thought that that it would be a kind of facultative. But the in a half a year I grasped it, lighted up and fell in love with handball. It is a very dynamic sport undervalued in Russia. It is extremely popular in European countries. It is No. 2 in France, No. 2 in all Scandinavian countries. Within the last World Championship, the matches were visited by more than 1 mln people. And these are indoor halls, not stadiums.
We recover the popularity of handball in Russia. Female team became an Olympic champion in Rio and won silver medals of European championship in 2018. At the final match of the Cup in Rostov on Don all tickets were sold out and it was impossible to get one. They were resold. And now Rostov is playing in “the final of four“ of the Championship. Handball came back to federal media and on television.
- Your company was established 26 years ago. Will your children continue this business? Do you attract them to the business?
- My sons are 20, 18 and 17 years old. They are interested in it and want to do it. They are still studying, and we talk a lot about business, they ask questions, I answer. They are not quite ready yet and probably they are worried about the scale of business.
It is a great dream of every father when their children continue their business. But I don’t want to overload them or to impose something on them. I want to excite them. Boys are well-educated and ambitious. I really cultivate friendship among them. I also have a daughter, she is 13 years old, and she is a charming participant of our family meetings devoted to business. And sort of questions she asks! She is a very intelligent girl!
The problem of children in rich families is well-known. Thus, I am very strict to their expenses. I am going to study the experience of creating, rise and ruin of family business. There is some sad statistics that only 5% of family business live longer than the third generation of owners. When grandchildren of the creator come to power, the family enlarges, the interests are more and more different, and conflicts arise. But one of the survivors is an American company Cargill, our long-time partner, it is nearly 200 years old. The other positive example is our Global Ports partner AMPT, a part of Miller-Maersk holding, a family company with rich history.
I believe that with modern opportunities my children will have even broader prospects for self-realization and that they will set their own way of life. Even if they will work out of Delo group, I am sure that they will not disgrace the family name and reputation and they will become worthy people, who I will always be proud of.
“The investments in the construction of the unique deep-water berth No 38 at NUTEP Container Terminal will amount to about 3.6 bln run. The commissioning is expected at the beginning of the second quarter 2019. And 3.7 bln rub is set aside to invest in the expansion of KSK Grain Terminal throughput capacities till 2020”, - DeloPorts confirmed.
DeloPorts will invest in KSK development project in Novorossiysk 2.2 bln rub of own funds and 1.5 bln rub borrowed on the line of credit subsidized by the Ministry of Agriculture. Project financing of deep-water berth construction at NUTEP is also conducted with own funds and funds attracted at commercial banks.
The project will allow KSK to increase its throughput capacities by 1.5 mln tonnes to 6.5 mln tonnes per year by 2020. Meanwhile the deep-water berth will allow NUTEP to handle ocean type vessels up to 10 thous. TEUs and double its throughput capacity – to 700 thous. TEUs.
By the end of 2018 DeloPorts plans to expand its tug-boat fleet operated by the Service Company “Delo” with by two tug-boats. Currently the Company operates three own Damen tugboats. The project cost is not disclosed.
“DeloPorts” is a Russian holding company that owns stevedore assets and the service company of Delo Group, owned by Sergey Shishkarev. The assets were incorporated in a holding company in 2012.
In October 2016, FSUE Rosmorport and joint-stock company KCK Grain Terminal signed an agreement for cooperation on the implementation of the project for reconstruction of the grain terminal to boost its throughput capacity from 2.5 mln tonne/year to 4 mln tonne/year.
The document provided for cooperation of the parties on design and construction (reconstruction) of berths No. 40A, 40, 41, 2 and 3 in the Port of Novorossiysk to ensure maritime safety and to boost the throughput capacity of joint-stock company KCK Grain Terminal for 1.5 mln tonne/year.
Joint-stock company KCK Grain Terminal is one the stevedore assets of DeloPorts Ltd., Russian holding company, which owns the stevedore assets of Delo Group. The assets include NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and TOS bunkering company. In 2015, the total throughput of the terminals amounted to 5.5 mln tonnes.
The deep-water grain terminal handles cargo in the Port of Novorossiysk. Aside from bulk cargo, the terminal handles general and ro-ro cargos.
For the first half-year of 2018, the net profit of DeloPorts Ltd. of Novorossiysk amounted to 2.81 billion roubles and that is 42% more than the year before. The proceeds for the same period grew by 34.2% to 5.41 billion roubles. Consolidated EBITDA grew by 47.1% to 4.01 billion roubles. EBITDA profitability amounted to 74.2% compared with 67.7% in the first half-year of 2017.
In January-June 2018, the amount of cargo handled at the terminal of DeloPorts Ltd. amounted to 4.6 mln tonnes which 30% higher than the same period of the last year.
For more detail go to RBK:
BG: Tell us, how did you arrive at the idea of acquiring your own tugging fleet?
IGOR YAKOVENKO: We’ve been working in Novorossiysk for 25 years. We constantly analyse the market and fully realize what our customers lack to work effectively. To service a ship in a port is an entire set of various services: agency services, forwarding, bunkering (refuelling a ship - "Ъ"), tugging, piloting, ship-chandler services, etc.
Usually, the customer is unable to order all these services from a single operator. And there is a substantial element of discordance in the operation of each of them.
Since long, Delo Group has its own maritime agency and own bunkering company, which has its independent business, but it was the tugboats that we outsourced. A few years back, we began an analysis as to see how our operation would change if we provided all these services to our customers in an all-inclusive fashion. According to our calculations, the integration of the bunkering and tugging services had to produce a powerful synergy effect to speed up the operation at our both terminal – the grain and the container.
As a result, we made a decision to create on the basis of our maritime agency and the bunkering company a single service company Delo, which commenced its operation in June last year. Yet in 2016, we placed an order for three tugs with one of the leading world manufacturers of this class equipment - Dutch company Damen Shipyards. Now the tugs effectively operate in the Tsemes bay. We expect the forth tug at the end of the year.
We see that it has already affected the load capacity and even the structure of the freight turnover at our container terminal. The ship and cargo processing speed, which we assure, has turned out to be an important parameter for refrigerator-type cargo carriers. Lines that work with the reefer containers, as soon as they saw our capabilities, started to use our terminal more actively, although before we acquired the own tugs, we hadn’t been able to assure this required speed and rhythmicity.
BG: What project efficiency indicators can you quote?
I. Y.: The first months of the operation showed us excellent indicators: about 70% of out clients ordered the tugging services from us. And today, 100% of the ships touching at our terminals are serviced with our own tugs. This means that the customers saw the manufacturability of it and how convenient and quick it was.
Saying manufacturability, I mean the operation proper of our terminal. It’s the timeliness of berthing that practically all the types of operations with the cargo depend on. We have got the only railroad for both the container terminal and the grain one. Therefore, we have to feed cars either for grain or for containers. We need to take into account the busyness of the automobile road and the feed of the auto transport to load and unload, plan the loading of the grain silos, operatively utilize the capacity of the container storage and so on.
Now, we can assure this ten times more effectively and quickly since we are independent of external tugging companies, which not infrequently had us at the end of the line. Today, thanks to the compact arrangement of the terminals, our tugs, which are based at NUTEP, can move forwards to KCK and back in a matter of minutes: as soon as a grain bulker is berthed they go out in the roads to get a container ship and so on.
BG: Will this service operator be profitable in itself or it’s an auxiliary business for DeloPorts?
I. Y.: It’s been only half a year since the project’s in operation, so we only glean the statistics. Preliminary estimates are very positive first of all in the growth of the manufacturability of the operations. But I am certain now: if we calculate all the non-productive downtime that we had had at the terminals before acquiring our own tugs, then it will be a very profitable project in any case. We see that our work has been approved by the customers and, under the conditions of the market today, it is as important as gaining profit.
I will say more: as soon as we have finished the investment project to build the new container terminal No 38 at NUTEP and the new silo capacities at KCK, the number of the tugs we have will not suffice. This very summer we won the approval by the shareholders of the next investment stage and will be buying two more tugs of the same build. It’s a long standing tradition that the god mothers for our boats are leading players of the handball national team Russia. Delo is the general sponsor of the Russian Handball Federation.
BG: And aren’t the Russian ship builders able to supply the equipment of the needed category?
I. Y.: They are able but at the time we placed the order in 2016, all the domestic shipyards were busy with the government order. They simply couldn’t prepare tugs with necessary characteristics and in the amount needed: we weren’t satisfied that they would come to us a year later than it was required. Therefore, we had a contract with Damen, which had the ships we needed available “in stock”. And we’re very pleased with this cooperation.
Interviewed by Alexei Ekimovsky
The unveiling of a memorial to sea port workers. Photo by Anatoly Pozdnyakov
It was the initiative of Delo Group to open in Novorossiysk the only commemorative sign to port workers in Russia.
Foreign ships called at our harbour.
The Port of Novorossiysk is a company-town type of enterprise. Since 1845, many Black Sea routes meet here, connecting Russia with Africa, Asia and America. The port workers built the city, defended it during the war and rebuilt it later from the ruins. Perhaps there is not a single family in Novorossiysk where everybody has nothing to do with the port.
Sergey Shishkarev, president of Delo Group, too thinks himself a port worker by birth. As a child, he often happened to be in the port watching his father work, who had been a dispatcher for many years. Thirty years later, he was twice elected to the Board of Directors of NCSP. He knows what makes up people’s lives here and he sincerely respects each of them who has ever worked here. The port and the city is a single organism, their fates are tied inseparably. That’s why both the townsfolk and the city hall were responsive to the idea of creating the commemorative sign To Port Workers of Novorossiysk.
The activity of our company has a wide geography. We have access to all the seas of Russia but we never forget that our “home port” is Novorossiysk. We sincerely love our city and are always ready to invest in its development particularly in its beautification. We believe there will be another nook which people of Novorossiysk will love. Many thanks to the city’s officials who supported our idea.
Delo Group has recently commemorated its 25th anniversary. Throughout this time, probably not a single social project in Novorossiysk has been implemented without the participation of the Group’s companies. The city hospital, the children’s hospital, rehabilitation centre Romashka, the charity fund for support of family, motherhood and childhood Sun in the Palms, the regional division of Russian Children’s Fund and the educational institution for orphans and children without parental custody are among the friends and organizations being sponsored.
With overall assurance
The whole process took about three years from the inception of the idea to its actualization. The action group, which included veterans, port workers and just enthusiasts enamoured of their city, had gone through all the stages: from many verifications by supervisory bodies to approvals of sketches and the placement spot. The financing was provided on a parity basis by Delo Group and Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port. But also some government and private companies and individuals donated for the installation of the commemorative sign.
A very beautiful place has been chosen – there where the quay comes up to the territory of the port; now there is a young girl-tallyman, two dock-engineers busy with the loading and a stevedore standing in the shade of trees. Konstantin Kubyshkin, sculptor from Moscow, had gone through a multitude of photos and twice had come to the port before he had an image of the commemorative sign.
“The idea was for people to recognize port workers in this group and not just representatives of the industrial workforce, to recognize themselves”, says the author. “I tried to completely follow the truth of life: if the safety measures require hard hats and light reflecting vests then they must be on the sculpture. The inscription “This side up” and the arrows indicating the direction were added on the crate at the last minute. A small concession was made for one nuance – we didn’t take away the rope cables and mooring bollards, which were positioned too close to the people. The safety measures don’t allow this but everybody had taken a liking to these elements symbolising work at sea.”
The height of the sculpture group is 2.5 metres, the width – 4 metres. On the granite slabs on each side of the memorial, there are words from a decree by the Emperor Nikolai I to establish a new Russian port on June 30, 1845 and the words of its significance nowadays.
Dedicated to dockers, tallymen, stevedores
The opening of the new memorial was timed to commemorate three dates at once: 180 years since establishing Novorossiysk, 75 years since the rout of the German fascists at Novorossiysk and 45 years since gaining the title of Hero City. Igor Dyachenko, mayor of Novorossiysk and an honoured guest, remarked that it was a landmark event. “Novorossiysk has always been and will be a city of port workers, seamen and cement plant workers. And this memorial for the port workers perpetuates the work of all the professions of the commercial sea port, of all its epochs. I am very much thankful to all who has financed the creation of the monument: Delo Group, Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, entrepreneurs and partial citizens. Thanks to you all, there is such a memorial and I am sure it will be one of favourite sights of the city.”
Igor Terentiev, first Deputy General Director of PJSC NCSP, reminded that among more than 600 memorials of the city up to this day there had been not one dedicated to port workers. Now this injustice has been rectified. The commemorative sign underscores the significance and prestigiousness of port professions, glorifies the work of the port workers of Novorossiysk and their input in the development of the region and the country.
Hundreds of townspeople have come to the opening ceremony including those whose life has inseparable ties with the port. Valentina Vlasenko can be proud to say that she belongs to two port dynasties at once – the father Nikolai Leontievich has worked as a docker for 20 years; the husband’s family worked here too and she as well can’t imagine her life without the port. Once retired, she became an active member of Veterans’ Council. And, of course, she just couldn’t miss out on this historic event – an opening of the memorial.
“One can say that this is a memorial to my parents who right after the war were rebuilding Novorossiysk”, says Valentina Nikolaevna. “The port developed on my watch and the city developed along. Sergey Shishkarev is ours, local; therefore, he understands how much the port workers have done for the city. I bow down to him for this remarkable idea!
And the new commemorative sign has already been living its life. The townspeople came up with a tradition right away: if you rub the bronze sculpture, it will bring sure luck. The same way the port workers bring luck throughout many years to the home town.
The company’s adjusted net profit for the reported period of 2018 is 2,916 mln roubles, which is by 49.4% higher than in the 6 months of 2017.
The proceeds grew by 34.2% to 5,416 mln roubles.
The EBITDA indicator grew by 47.1% to 4,019 mln roubles, whereat the profitability according to EBITDA grew by 74.2% vs. 67.7% of the first half-year of 2017.
The operational cash flow in the reported year of 2018 grew by 55.6% to 2,943 mln roubles.
The capital costs over 2017 grew by 2.9 times to 1,542 mln roubles.
The net debt over the 6 months of this year has amounted to 16,047 mln roubles, which is 3 times more when compared with December 31, 2017. The significant increase in the net debt was stipulated by a new dollar bonded loan, the company states.
Just a reminder, DeloPorts incorporates the assets of NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and Delo Service Company. The total amount of cargo put through over the 6 months of 2018 amounted to 4.6 mln tonnes of grain which is by 30.3% higher than over the same period of 2017.
The amount of cargo handled by DeloPorts Ltd., i.e. incorporates the stevedore assets of Delo Group (NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and the service company Delo) in the first six months of this year grew to 4.6. mln tonnes. That is 30% higher than the same period of the last year.
When broken into segments, grain takes up more than half of the cargo (KCK grain terminal). When compared with the 6 months of 2017, the amount of grain handled has grown by 40 % to about 2.4 mln tonnes.
The containers also take up a significant share of the cargo handled. During January-June 2018, the amount of containers put through grew by 28% to 2.2 mln tonnes.
During the 6 months of this year, the container terminal NUTEP handled 186 thousands TEU which is 12% higher than the same period of the year 2017.
Regarding the other cargo segments, the growth is negative. The amount of general cargo handled amounted to 1 thousand tonnes only, i.e. 99% below the same period of the last year. The volume of the ro-ro cargo went down by 65% (to 7 thousand tonnes).
During the first half-year of 2018, Delo Service Company which specializes in the bunkering of all kinds of ships in the Port of Novorossiysk sold 14% (to 27 thousand tonnes) less bunker fuel.
Since June 2017, Delo Service Company has begun providing ship’s agency services in the Port of Novorossiysk. The number of ships serviced during the 6 months of 2018 grew 5.4 times to 113 units. During January-June, there were 457 mooring operations.
The holding company accounts for the increase by the growth in the numbers of containers put through NUTEP terminal, owned by DepoPorts Ltd., both in tonnes and twenty foot containers – 12% and 28% respectively, the growth being the result of the continuing recovery of the Russian container market.
Besides, the growth in the amount of grain, being a result of good wheat harvest, handled by KCK terminal (+40) also counted.
The proceeds of DeloPorts in 2017 amounted to 8.79 billions of roubles, as RBK Krasnodar reported. They grew by 12.7% as compared with 2016. The net profit of the company, allowing for the exchange rate due to re-evaluation of the obligations denominated in foreign currency, grew by 4.1% to 4.24 billion roubles.
In April 2018 the rating agency Standard & Poor’s lowered the long-term corporate credit rating of DeloPorts Ltd. from BB- to B+ with stable outlook. The lower rating is caused by the close of the deal to buy out 30.75% stake in Global Port Investment PLC. by the parent company Service Company Delo Ltd. To finance the deal, DeloPorts issued bonds for 140 mln dollars. Besides, Delo Group took out a loan.
In May, RAEX agency (Expert PA) lowered the company’s ratings to ruA level for the same reason. Besides, “under monitoring” status was removed from the company.
DeloPorts Ltd. was registered in Novorossiysk in 2015. The company is one of the Russian largest stevedore holding companies that incorporates assets of Delo Group in the grain and container segments. The holding company includes NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and TOS bunkering company.
For more details go to:
The company announced the issuance of bonds of 001P-01 series for 3.5 billion roubles. There is no offer on the bonds. The coupon interest rate at the close of the entry book is set at 9.4% annually (which corresponds to profitability of 9.62% annually), the statement reads.
The total demand for the 9.4% coupon was 9.5 billion roubles. Raiffeisenbank, Sovcombank and GPB (Gazprombank) organized the issuance. The bonds have been issued under the programme for exchange bonds of DeloPorts registered in August 2016. The amount of the programme is 50 billion roubles or an equivalent to this amount in foreign currency. The maturity of the bond issue under the programme is up to 10 years.
At the same time, the company offered to take the bonds of the first series out which it issued in November 2015 for the amount of 3 billion roubles with the 13.8% annual rate for the half-year coupons till the offer in November 2018.
“The new issuance for 3.5 billion roubles for a 5 year period allows extending the maturity date for the current obligations of DeloPorts and lowering the borrowing costs from 13.8% to 9.4%. The specificity of the deal is that the profitability for the redemption of the old stock is based on the profitability for the new issuance with a small premium. As a result, investors used the offer for the total amount of 2.1 billion roubles,” said Andrei Bubnov, General Director of Delo Service Company.
DeloPorts is a holding company, which owns stevedore assets of Delo Group. The assets include NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and TOS bunkering company. The both terminals are located in Novorossiysk.
The lower rating is caused by the parent company Service Company Delo Ltd. closing the deal on the buy-out of 30.75% stake in Global Port Investment PLC. To finance the deal, DeloPorts issued bonds for 140 mln dollars. Besides, Delo Group took out a loan.
“Since DeloPorts is the principal source of income for Delo Group, it’s this company that will be liable for the debt repayment”, Standart & Poor’s analysts state.
Global Ports is the largest operator of container terminals. There are five such terminals in Russia and two in Finland under its management. The company’s assets are in the Baltic and the Far East.
The agency also expects that the proportion of funds from operations (FFO) to the company’s debt may amount to 23% in 2018 and to 25% by 2019. For comparison: this proportion was 46% in 2017. If FFO to the debt drops below 15%, the company’s rating may be lowered again, the analysts say.
Yet in December 2017, S&P predicted the deal would entail the lowering of the ratings of DeloPorts Ltd.
The proceeds of DeloPorts (corporate affiliate of Delo Group) in 2017 amounted to 8.79 billions of roubles, as RBK Krasnodar reported. They grew by 12.7% as compared with 2016. The net profit of the company, allowing for the exchange rate due to re-evaluation of the obligations denominated in foreign currency, grew by 4.1% to 4.24 billion roubles.
DeloPorts Ltd. was registered in Novorossiysk in 2015. The company is one of the Russian largest stevedore holding companies that incorporates assets of Delo Group (under control of businessman Sergey Shishkarev) in the grain and container segments. The holding company includes NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and TOS bunkering company.
Newspaper "Коммерсантъ" №64 of 13.04.2018, page 8
Delo Group has sealed the deal to acquire 30.75% of Global Ports port holding company from N-Trans of Nikita Mishin, Konstantin Nikolaev and Andrei Filatov for about $250 mln. The deal terms read that Global Ports and DeloPorts, stevedore asset of Delo, will be managed separately and keep the competition in the market. To do this, the assets had to be isolated one from the other at the Board of Directors level. The sellers will spend the proceeds on their own projects.
On Thursday, Delo Group of Sergey Shishkarev and N-Trans of Nikita Mishin, Konstantin Nikolaev and Andrei Filatov closed the deal to acquire by Delo 30.75% of Global Ports, a large Russian stevedore company. The company announced about the deal at the end on 2017 (see “Ъ” of December 21, 2017) and the FAS approved the deal on 16th February.
As Sergey Shishkarev explained to “Ъ”, the value of the transaction was “slightly below a quarter of a billion dollars”. He didn’t disclose the exact amount saying that “the deal is closed under the market conditions”. The financing was provided from the own funds of Delo, an issue of exchange bonds by DeloPorts (stevedore asset of the group) and a credit line from Sovcombank.
There are five container terminals under the Global Ports management in the Russian Federation and two in Finland. According to IFRS, the earnings for the first half-year of 2017 are $162 mln, EBITDA — $97,3 mln, the net loss - $11.9 (versus $113.4 mln profit a year earlier). The net debt is $1.03 billions. Dutch A.P. Moeller-Maersk through Netherland APM Terminals B.V. owns 30.75% of the shares and Cypriote Ilibrinio Establishment Limited и Polozio Enterprises Limited own 9% each. N-Trans owned the share of Global Ports through Transportation Investments Holding Ltd (TIHL). DeloPorts, the main asset of Delo, includes NUTEP container terminal, TOS bunkering company and KCK grain terminal. The consolidated earnings of DeloPorts for 2016 are 7.8 billions of roubles. Also, Delo owns ship repairing, railroad and grain assets.
The terms of the transaction have no provision about making an offer to other shareholders. The relationships with strategic partners of Global Ports are not to be changed: Delo Service Company has joined the shareholding agreement with APM, replacing TIHL therein. The partners will draw up a new development strategy for Global Ports “in the upcoming autumn of 2018”. As Delo Group explained, the first steps towards this end are expected to be made by the end of May. The strategy may provide for diversification in the cargo nomenclature, “for example, Ust-Luga develops as an industrial cluster with a clear-cut export orientation”.
Delo Service Company will operate DeloPorts and Global Ports separately. There will be a “Chinese wall” between the assets which will prevent the overflow of sensitive information, as Anton Chertkov, member of the Board of Directors of Delo explains. This explains the reshuffles among the management positions: the members of the Board of Directors of DeloPorts will not be on the Board of Global Ports and vice versa. But the agreement provides for Sergey Shishkarev to be on the both boards and participate in management of the companies.
According to information “Ъ” has obtained from N-Trans, the shareholders intend to spend the funds on personal projects in various industrial branches. Andrei Filatov has plans to invest in SRP-project of the “25 years of independence” gas field in Uzbekistan. Nikita Mishin will continue supporting Russian education under Dar fund, as the company stated.
The FAS approved the acquisition under a number of conditions, particularly requiring Global Ports to set within 30 days after the deal is closed rouble tariffs at an economically justified level or lower. They mustn’t be above the prices of 2013-2014, allowing for the inflations. As the Group explained to “Ъ”, Global Ports and Delo interact with the FAS on this issue on the basis of the settlement agreement signed between the FAS and Global Ports in December 2017.
As Michael Burmistrov, head of Infoline-Analitiki, comments, under the market volatility induced by the sanctions, a deal without a discount for foreign currency risks is more beneficial for the seller than in December. He explains that appearingly the period for rouble stability has ended and the FAS, while insisting on changing the port tariffs to roubles, this way will decrees the marginality of the stevedore companies and their steadiness against foreign currency risks when servicing the debt.
According to the company, the total number of the bonds will be 140 thousands with the nominal value of $ 1,000. Thus the total amount of the bonds to be placed will be $ 140 mln. The company also states that the coupon for 14 coupon periods from April 10, 2014 till April 1, 2025 will be 6.75% annually.
DeloPort Ltd., i.e. part of Delo Group, is one of the Russia’s largest private transport-logistic holding companies. The Group’s companies provide services in cargo handling and ship bunkering in the Port of Novorossiysk, railroad and multimodal container transportation, forwarding, customs clearance of exports-imports in Russia and the CIS, supply of crude oil and petroleum products. According to «SPARK-Interfax», Sergey Shishkarev is the beneficiary. According to „Ъ“, Delo incorporates the container terminal NUTEP, the bunkering company TOS and the grain terminal KCK. The consolidated proceeds of DeloPorts Ltd. in 2016 are 7.8 billions of roubles. The group also owns ship repairing, railroad and grain assets.
As „Ъ“ said before, in March 2018, the FAS granted the petition by Sergey Shishkarev to acquire 30.75% of Global Ports. „Ъ“ reported on the forthcoming deal in December 2017 when Global Ports itself reported that Transportation Investments Holding Ltd. (group N-Trans of Nikita Mishin, Konstantin Nikalaev and Andrey Filatov) had made a deal with Delo Group to sell this block of stock (see „Ъ“ of December 21, 2017). As per timeline given in the report, the deal was to be closed in April. The value of the transaction wasn’t disclosed; however, based on the capitalization, it had to be around $238 mln.
There are five container terminals in the north-west and the Far East of the Russian Federation under the management of Global Ports with 670 thousand TEU containers put through in the first half-year and two in Finland. The proceeds, according to IFRS, for the first half-year are $162.5 mln, EBITDA — $97,3 mln, the net loss – $11.9 mln (versus %113.4 mln profit a year earlier). The net debt is $ 1.03 billions. Dutch A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S through APM Terminals B.V. owns 30,75% of the shares and Ilibrinio Establishment Limited and Polozio Enterprises Limited own 9% each.
The rating’s outlook – “stable”, the agency’s release reads.
“DeloPorts will continue profiting this year due to the improved situation in the Russian container market, which is especially noticeable in the Black Sea, where the company operates, the statement says. – it also has good conditions for exporting grain.”
The agency’s analysts predict growth in the container segment by 18-20% in 2017, in the grain business – by 15%.
S&P GR expects the proceeds of the company grow by 2% next year, profitability EBITDA – by about 70-72%.
DeloPorts is a holding company owning stevedore assets in the south-eastern district of the sea port of Novorossiysk. The company is one of the Russian largest sea stevedores in the south, holding leading positions in the amount of grain and containers handled in the region. The key assets of DeloPorts: NUTEP container terminal, KCK grain terminal and TOS bunkering company.
The cargo throughput at DeloPorts terminals in 2016 amounted to 6 mln tonnes, which is 10% over the last year, whereat the amount of grain handled grew by 18.2% to 3.3 mln tonnes, containers – by 18.2% to 233 thousand TEU.
The Russian port industry, unlike the tendencies in the economy, keeps on building up cargo handling capabilities. It doesn’t quite correlate with the incomes of the port workers, but the quantities are growing. In 2015, the amount of cargo handled in the Russian ports grew by 8.5 %, from 623.4 mln to 676.7 mln tonnes; however, this number has been steadily growing since the late 1990s. Average growth for the last 15 years was 9.6%, two-digit growth rates in 2000-2005 and their sharp decline since 2006. The least growth in the amount of cargo handled was in the year of crisis 2008 (by 0.8%); nevertheless, the dynamics was positive.
Currently, there are 67 sea ports with port complexes in the Russian Federation. Three quarters of the amount of the Russian export cargo are transported to the ports via railroad. The capability of the port infrastructure is constantly growing. In 2015, “the entire sea port infrastructure grew by 19.5 mln tonnes”, says Vladimir Putin at a press-conference in December, positively evaluating the growth in the quantity of cargo handled in the ports.
In 2015, the large basins such as Azov-Black Sea, Baltic and Far East demonstrated the highest growth both in percentage and real numbers. The Azov-Black Sea basin became the absolute leader in the growth in the amount of cargo handled, which went up by 38.4% as compared with the last year’s result. And for the first time, it has become the leader in the amount of cargo handed, taking over the Baltic basin in aggregate tonnage (232.9 mln tonnes versus 230.7 mln tonnes).
The first quarter demonstrates different dynamics. While the common growth in cargo handling throughout Russia is 4.6% (to 167.3 mln tonnes), the Arctic basin demonstrated the highest growth in percentage (+18.3% to 10 mln tonnes), growth in real numbers - the Far East basin (4.22 mln tonnes or 9.3%). Crude oil accounts for the noticeable growth in the quantities in the Arctic basin (41.2%) with the ports of Murmansk and Varandey being the leaders, who increased their cargo handling quantities by 24,7% and 21,6% respectively. Among all the ports of the Far East, only the Port of Prigorodnoye demonstrated an insignificant negative dynamics. The others grew, while some of them like Vanino, Nakhodka, de-Kastri and Posiet demonstrated a two-digit growth (Posiet +40.9%).
The Azov-Black Sea basin: the grain future
Today the Azov-Black Sea basin accounts for 34% of the total cargo amount handled at the ports of Russia (232.9 mln tonnes), 58% of which is bulk (liquid) cargos. However, the analysis of the market situation and the tendencies in the export-oriented Russian industries indicate that in the mid-term run the handling of bulk cargo, grain and general cargo will grow. It’s expected that by 2020 384 mln tonnes will be handled at the Azov and Black sea ports as compared with today’s 320 mln tonnes whereat the ports are expected to be incapable to handled 21 mln tonnes more of coal, 19.5 mln tonnes more of mineral fertilizers, 9.1 mln tonnes more of grain, 9 mln tonnes more of general cargo, 3 mln tonnes more of soy and rape and 2.4 mln tonnes more of ore.
The grain export is a significant impetus for developing the regional port capabilities. Overall, throughout Russia, in the four months of 2016 the grain shipment grew by 40% to 7.2 mln tonnes, and there is a noticeable growth in the shipment at the Black Sea. Thus, in the four months NCSP shipped 2.2 mln tonnes of grain (+29.6%), the grain terminal Taman doubled the shipment to 735.5 thousand tonnes, DeloPorts in the first half-year shipped 79% more grain than the year before (829 thousand tonnes). The forecast of the grain industry indicates that by the end of the agricultural year of 2016 Russia will reach the number of 224.5 mln tonnes (export of wheat with flour when converted into grain will amount to 24.7 mln tonnes), beating the USA for the first time and taking the lead in export among single countries. Moreover, as grain from Russia is expected to be sent to the Black sea ports so is grain from Kazakhstan, which has the only way out through the “closed” Caspian Sea (for more detail see an interview with Sergei Gubineetz).
Despite the fact that among the Black Sea ports the Crimean ports have become available, the government deems the latter of little significant use. Nevertheless, the Crimea contributed significantly to the growth in the amount of cargo being handled in the basin: large Crimean construction projects accounted for the growing numbers of the amount of cargo handled by some Russian ports, first of all, the Port of Kavkaz, which handled in 2015 three times the amount of 2014 (30.5 mln tonnes vs. 10.2 mln).
As the Black and Azov sea port development programme reads, by 2020 the capabilities of the terminals to handle dry cargo are to grow by 61% to 169 mln tonnes a year. And it is within the scope of the updated sea port development programme to create in the region by 2020 a dry cargo zone at the Port of Taman with capabilities during the first stage of operation of 37.8 mln tonnes of coal, mineral fertilizers, general cargo, grain and rice, and during the second stage, with the freight traffic confirmed, they can reach 95 mln tonnes. In February 2018, OTEKO Group is planning to make the first shipment of bulk cargo from Taman terminal, the overall amount being 35 mln tonnes a year. At the end of this and the beginning of the next year, OTEKO Group will commence construction of a grain terminal for 14.5 mln tonnes.
Also, part of the NCSP terminals will be redesigned to boost their capabilities to 24.5 mln tonnes a year to handle more mineral fertilizers, grain, bulk cargo and containers, a berth with 350 thousand TEU capacity to handled containerized cargo and a 1.5 mln tonnes grain terminal at Delo Group will be built. There is a plan to build in Taman a 5 mln tonne capacity ammonium terminal for Togliattiazot.
The Far East basin: the export hub and potential transitter
The Far East constantly strengthens its positions in the Russian port industry. It’s dry and fluid cargos that were driving the growth of the regional ports in 2015, the amount handled of which grew by 6.1% and 10.1% respectively.
At the same time, the port industry development strategy of the Far East is dependent on coal export expansion. In the Far East basin in the Port of Vanino, the projects to develop the coal terminal Daltransugl to build up the capacity to 24 mln tonnes a year, which will require reconstructing the railroad, and construction of Sahatrans coal terminal (24 mln tonnes) will be a priority, Andrei Lavrishev, head of Rosmorport said. Also, there are plans to build both the third stage of the coal terminal to increase the capacity from 22 mln to 39 mln tonnes and Sever coal terminal of UPTC (Universal Production Transshipment Complex) (20 mln tonnes) in the Port of Vostochny. The capacities of the Port of Sakhalin will be increased, particularly the coal terminal in the Port of Shakhtersk coupled with the development of Solntzevskoye deposit will be reconstructed. Its capacity will be increased from 3.5 mln to 12 mln tonnes. Reconstruction of the ferry crossing Vanino-Kholmsk along with construction of a passenger terminal in Korsakov is planned. A terminal to receive cruise liners and handle containers (600 thousand tonnes TEU) will be built on the cape of Signalny in the Port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
However, it’s not just the development of direct export that caused the “turn-around towards the East”. The Ministry of Russia for the Development of the Far East actively promotes the idea for the Far East to be a transitter, focussing on increasing the amount of cargo put through the Russian ports by intercepting part of the cargo traffic between north-east of China and its southern and central parts as well as between other countries. For this, there are plans to develop international transport corridors (ITC) Promorie-1 (Suifenhe – Nakhodka) and Primorie-2 (Hunchun—Zarubino). As per McKinsey evaluation and given the successful implementation of the projects, the cargo traffic through the ports of Primorye will grow by 3% annually and will have increased to 45 mln tonnes by 2030 (22 mln tonnes in containers and 23 mln tonnes in grain). The Chinese consignors will be able to save about $700 mln a year on this and Russia will have a 29 billion rouble increment to the GDP. According to Alexander Isurin, President of FESCO, the potential economy when using these corridors equals $10 per tonne. However, the relative attractiveness of the Chinese tariff conditions and the underdevelopment of ITC infrastructure are the stumbling blocks for the successful project implementation. In particular, Leonid Bershansky, head of Rosgranstroy Federal Government Institution (Rosgranstroy FGI) accentuated the necessity for building and reconstructing the railroad border crossings under concessional conditions citing Makhalino border crossing, which had no modern infrastructure to handle cargo traffic, as an example. Railroads and automobile access roads to the ports are underdeveloped. According to McKinsey, it will cost about 315 billion roubles (145 billion roubles for Promorie-1 and 170 billion roubles for Primorie-2) to develop all the infrastructure of ITC; as per updated figures from the federal authorities, which are to be the basis for the time schedule for these projects’ implementation, the overall costs are nearing 430 billion roubles. Although, Summa Group’s estimate for them is somewhat lower. It plans to build a terminal complex in Zarubino. The first stage of which, when completed, will allow to handle 10 mln tonnes of grain and 700 thousands TEU of containers, the second stage - 23 mln tonnes and 1.8 mln TEU respectively. As per Summa’s estimate, out of 204 billion roubles needed for Primorie-2 85 billion roubles will be invested by the government and the rest will come out of private investors’ pockets. Part of the government investment can be shared among potential Chinese concessioners. Summa has already signed with the Chinese railroads a Letter of Intent to build access railroads to the Port of Zarubino.
The Baltic: pour but know where to stop
The Baltic basin is the pillar for the Russian export of crude oil and petroleum products. The proportion of crude oil here is the highest in the total amount of shipments: in 2015 the oil shipments made up 62% of the total cargo handled, the first quarter of 2016 - 64.3%. Such proportion is stipulated by the necessity to replace the ports of the adjoining Baltic republics, which during the Soviet times took the lead over the ports of the Russian republic as they were newer and with better infrastructure quality. As the first stage of BPS -1 (Baltic Piping System) with its terminal at the Port of Primorsk was commissioned in 2001, Russia gradually started to redirect the bulk (fluid) cargos from the ports of foreign Baltic countries to its own. BPS – 2 with its terminal at Ust-Luga in 2002 clinched the deal. The share of transportation and storage services in the Baltics’ GDP is quite high and the loss of the Russian transit is rather painful.
Overall, the Baltic ended 2015 with the growth rates not high (+3.2%) and for the first time lost the lead in the amount handled to the Azov-Black Sea basin. The crisis in the container industry and lower volumes of ro-ro cargos accounted for the decreased growth rates. In the first quarter the Russian Baltic ports put through 0.6% more cargo than the previous year, while the Russian ports in general gained 4.6% growth. Primorsk demonstrated the highest growth (+5,6%) among the Russian Baltic; Ust-Luga was just behind (+4,1%); the other ports demonstrated a decrease with the Port of Petersburg being the lowest (8,2%). Thus, despite the drop in the crude oil price, the oil ports demonstrated the most positive dynamics, indicating there was a growth in demand.
The neighbours are not doing so great either: they, as the Russian ports, have been influenced by the crisis in the container market and the predicaments in relationships of the Russian consignors with the foreign counterparts. While in 2014 the amount of cargo put through the Port of Riga grew by 15.8% to 41.8 mln tonnes, but then in 2015 decreased by 2.5% and, in the first quarter of this year when compared with the same period of the last year, dropped by 13.8% to 9.1 mln tonnes. In 2015, crude oil shipments were higher (3.3%) while the amount of coal handled decreased (-2.7%), so did the amount of containers transshipped (-8.3%). The amount of cargo handled in the Port of Ventspils since 2013 drops: the sanctions dealt it the biggest damage in 2014, due to which the port lost a significant portion of Russian coal transit and ended the year with a 9% loss in the amount of cargo handled. In 2015, the transshipment dropped by another 14% to 22.5 mln tonnes. And the Port of Tallinn in 2015 showed a significant sag in the amount of bulk (fluid) cargos handled (-32.2%) and lost by 19.8% in the number of containers put through. All in all, the port’s throughput amounts lowered by 20.8%. However, there are Baltic ports which are doing not bad. For instance, the amounts of cargo put through the Port of Klaipeda are growing. In percentage, in the first quarter, the growth was higher than all the ports of the eastern Baltic coast, exceeding the results of the last year by 9.1% (to 13.3 mln tonnes). In 2015, the Port of Klaipeda, allowing for Būtingė crude oil terminal, handled 38.5 mln tonnes (+5.8% vs. 2014), whereat the share of crude oil, as in the first quarter of 2016, was the highest and amounted to 28.2%.
Russia continues intercepting the cargo traffic from the neighbours. Yet in 2008, Sergei Ivanov, Vice-Premier, stated that by 2015 Russia would completely stop exporting not only petroleum products but coal via the ports of the Baltics and promised to have created sufficient amount of own throughput capabilities. And the president in his last year’s address to the Federal Assembly emphasized the necessity to develop logistic centres including “modern ports in the Baltic”.
However, it’s not the crude oil that is the basis for developing the Russian Baltic ports. The updated sea port development strategy for the period of up to 2030 provides for the completion of construction of Bronka Maritime Transshipment Complex (MTC) of 1.9 mln TEU (the first stage - 1.45 mln TEU) and 260 thousand units of ro-ro cargo, construction of Eurochem Ust-Luga terminal in the Port of Ust-Luga (7 mln tonnes) and a Baltic fertilizer terminal (5.2 mln tonnes), the expansion of throughput capability of the container terminal in Baltiysk from 150 thousands to 300 thousands TEU and construction of a passenger terminal in the Port of Pionersky in the Kaliningrad region (250 thousand people and 3 million tonnes of ferry cargo a year).
DeloPorts Limited transferred all interests in its subsidiaries into the capital of OOO DeloPorts (Russia) in July 2015